The Canadian Medical Association is calling for a government ban on mixed martial arts in Canada, where seven provinces sanction MMA prize fighting. The vote came Wednesday, after often-contentious debate among 250 doctors at the organization's annual meeting in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
According to an Associated Press head trauma and other injuries that could have lifelong effects. They argue that unlike sports such as hockey and skiing, the intent of mixed martial arts is to incapacitate one's opponent.
MMA - which borrows from techniques found in Greco-Roman wrestling, kickboxing, karate, judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and which once was derided as "human cockfighting" by U.S. Sen. John McCain - began its American emergence in the 1990s, gradually becoming a legal, albeit violent, activity in a majority of states. In recent years, it has been the focus of popular video games, enjoyed sellout crowds at arenas and attracted pay-per-view audiences rivaling those for boxing's biggest events. Most recently, MMA has begun appealing to younger people as a way to keep them fit and build self-defense skills.
"There's nothing wrong with teaching kids to defend themselves, not in today's world," Terry Richardson, principal of Miller (Mo.) High School, told Athletic Business last fall. Miller High offered MMA as a physical-education class during a month-long summer school session in 2009, and Winchester (Mass.) High School sponsors an MMA club program. "Everyone's going to have their opinion," Winchester athletic director Brian Carroll told AB last year, steadfast in his belief that the school has set proper boundaries for the sport. "There's a woman in Michigan who thinks I'm the devil for offering this."